Personal Data or Name Change

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Personal Data Changes

To change your personal biographic and demographic data, you may complete the Personal Data Change Form which may be mailed or hand-delivered to the Registrar's Office. 

Storing, Maintaining and Securing Personal Data

SUNY Cortland does not release private student data to third parties except where we are authorized by you, or as required by law.  Consequently, any data that is considered personally identifiable information under FERPA (or any other state or federal law, regulation, or policy) is considered strictly confidential and requires explicit review and approval to be released to third parties.  Specifically related to personal data maintained by the Registrar's Office, the following personal data elements are considered personally identifiable, and confidential:

  • Date of Birth
  • Race or Ethnicity
  • Gender or Sex
  • Citizenship or Nationality
  • Names and Addresses of Family Members (Including Parents)
  • Grades
  • Schedule
  • Criminal or Disciplinary Record Information

Any data categorized as personally identifiable information shall not be disclosed in any manner that is not consistent with federal and state law. You may review the FERPA policy on the SUNY Cortland FERPA Policy site

Copies of personal documentation required for personal data changes and auditing are securely stored in an encrypted imaging database.  By policy, Social Security Numbers are required to be redacted when archived or added to our document management system. For your safety and security we do not accept sensitive personally identifiable data (including on forms) via email.  You may use the US Mail, FedEX, our secured fax line (607-753-2959), or you may deliver documents in person (Miller 223).

Retroactive Changes

Newly printed Banner transcripts and newly generated documents may be updated, however any prior paperwork, documents, archives or records may retain former identity data (for example: former first and/or last name and gender). This will include any archives or image records in our Student Information Systems. To the maximum extent possible, SUNY Cortland will adjust identity data that it controls, creates, or maintains. The Registrar may be unable to alter identity data on documents provided by officials or third parties (such as other schools, financial institutions etc..) pursuant to law or NYS retention policy.  

Current and past gender data is confidential information under SUNY Cortland's FERPA policy, and shall not be disclosed in any manner that is not consistent with federal and state law.

Address Changes

Permanent address changes must be completed using the Personal Data Change Form. You may update your local address via myRedDragon if you are a current student. SUNY Cortland residence hall addresses and changes are maintained by Residence Life and Housing.  

Legal and "Of Record" Personal Data Changes

To change any legal ("of record" or official) details, you must provide two forms of identification. Both forms of ID must provide your new name and/or new gender of record.  At least one form must be an official or court-approved form of ID such as a U.S. Passport (or card), state or territory-issued driver's license, Sheriff's / NYS Identification Card, court order, Divorce/Marriage Certificate, or U.S. Military ID. SUNY Cortland shall not require medical documentation for changes. Once a legal change is recorded in the academic record, the record will identify only the new information.

The above policy does not apply to gender identity or preferred names, only changes that are required to be applied to all legal correspondence and/or compliance correspondence. The College remains obligated to use legal or "of record" data for many official records and reports including but not limited to: payroll records, billing records, financial aid documents, official transcripts, medical records, enrollment reporting, and federal immigration documents.

Selected Name Changes and Gender Identity Changes

Legal and "of record" data may differ from your identity at Cortland.  According to Title IX guidance, gender identity refers to an individual's sense of gender and gender identification. A person’s gender identity and name may be different from (or the same as) the sex assigned at birth, the gender of record (the gender provided when you applied to SUNY Cortland), and/or the legal name. 

Adding Selected Names, Preferred Names, or Changing Gender Identity

SUNY Cortland recognizes the needs of students who wish to be identified by a name or gender identity that differs from their legal status. We are also committed to protecting student privacy in order to ensure that students are treated in a manner consistent with their identity to foster a safe and nondiscriminatory environment.

To make additional name or gender identity changes you may request a confidential, private consultation with a trained member of the Registrar's Staff to begin the process. If required and with your permission, we may also privately consult with SUNY Cortland's Title IX Coordinator to be assured that you receive any additional needed guidance or support.

Preferred Nicknames

At the present time, selected and preferred name changes in the student record cannot be made when requesting only a nickname or a shortened substitute for a proper name (Example: Michael, wishing to have Mike as the selected/preferred name).

Gender Designations in Documents

SUNY Cortland official documents do not include gender designations (example: Mr. Mrs. Ms.). In addition, SUNY Cortland transcripts and diplomas do not include any gender designations.

System and Software Development

Adjusting the various information systems to include the use of the preferred name is a multi-year effort, due to the complexity and interrelated nature of systems and record sources.  SUNY Cortland has engaged its vendors and service providers to provide this functionality wherever biographic and demographic data is stored or used.  We appreciate your patience and your collaboration as we expand our ability to use of different names and genders in our records, and as we work toward providing a solution for this critically important need.

Persistent Identification

Your student ID (C-number) remains unchanged when your biographic and demographic records are updated in our system. All electronically-archived documents are cross-walked and identifiable regardless of any gender/name change. Accordingly, you will continue to be able to use your assigned C-number even as you make personal data changes. Students who attended before 1990, may be assigned a new C-number that is distinct from the former Cortland Student ID, if they did not previously have a C-number ID.

Social Security Number Updates

If your Social Security Number (SSN) is not on your record or is incorrect, please contact the Registrar's Office. Additionally, if you receive a notice from the Student Accounts Office requesting that you update your SSN, please also notify the Registrar's Office. You may update your SSN by providing a copy of a valid Social Security Identification Card accompanied by an official ID. While you are not required to provide the SSN at admission, it is normally needed for financial aid purposes and tax certificate and tax credit purposes (example: 1098-T Tuition Statements).

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff should contact Human Resources to facilitate any address, name or gender change (official or unofficial). For faculty and staff changing a name, please also review the Publications site for important timelines and instructions. 

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